This week we were able to be taught by such amazing women. We were supposed to be teaching them, but I think we may have learned even more from their faith and their examples then we did from what we taught. One sister, O Shimai, has been less active for about 20 years. She has come to church once or twice since then, but not in a long time. The members all know and love her though. She is a mom of three, and lives with her Husband and his parents, but the three of them are all hantai (not very happy with her for wanting to go to church). The sister missionaries have been teaching her for much longer then I have been here, and she has been invited to church many times, but never come. We have just been studying the Book of Mormon with her, and helping her to understand it a little bit more. This week we studied 1 Nephi 8 with her, about Lehi's dream. As we were studying with her, I was amazed at just how much faith and desire she has. We were able to help her to understand that she can receive revelation and guidance for her children. At some point we were talking about what the fruit from the tree of life represented. We talked about how it represented the love of God, and asked why she thought that was the most desirable thing, and why we would want to share that with others. I really wish I could remember what she said, but I remember that it was an amazing answer. I just remember being so filled with the spirit during that whole lesson, and being so grateful for the opportunity to learn from such an amazing woman. We then talked about how one of the ways we can feel God's love, is through taking the sacrament, and then we read Moroni 4 with her (the sacrament prayer).
There wasn't anything that we said or did, but after she read that scripture, something just clicked. After all these years of not understanding why we go to church, and why everyone kept inviting her, it finally made sense. We go to church to take the sacrament. To renew the promises that we have made with Heavenly Father, to take upon us the name of Christ, always remember Him, and to keep His commandments, and in return, God promises that we will always have His spirit to be with us. What an amazing promise that is. We are blessed that we will always have the Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead, with us, as long as we are doing the right things. We don't ever have to feel hurt and alone, or scared, or lost, because we are never alone, we always have the spirit with us, and we can always feel God's love, and receive answers to our prayers. How amazing is that? I am so grateful for the sacrament, and for my Heavenly Father. After she realized the importance of the sacrament, we invited her to come, and to bring her children. She said that she would., she wasn't there, and I was a little sad, but then I remembered how difficult it is to bring three children to church all on your own. About 15 minutes into church, they came. They made it just in time to take the sacrament. I can't even express how happy we were to see them.
I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am also grateful for the joy, and happiness that it brings me. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and I know that He loves each and every one of His children. I am so grateful to be able to feel just a little bit of that love as I serve His children here in Japan.
I love you all, and I hope that you have an amazing week.
We found the source of all Nintendo! :)
This is from last week when we went to Kiyomizudera after emailing. There is a man with a little store at the top of this big hill that engraves rings, and all the missionaries that serve in Kyoto have one. They say 真の弟子 (True Disciples - which is the old mission theme), and 共にあゆまん (Walk with me - our new mission theme)
It was pouring rain by the time we got home, so we sat in our warm apartments and had lunch.
This in U Shimai (except U is her maiden name, so she is really N Shimai, I think I talked about her last week), and her son H. We taught her how to make Tacos, and got to play with H Chan. :)